U.S. Confirms Ukrainian Spring Offensive Is Coming – In a joint press conference with chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley on Monday, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin revealed that Ukraine is preparing an offensive to take place in spring.
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“What Ukraine wants to do in the — at the first possible moment is to establish or create momentum and establish conditions on the battlefield that continue to be in its favor. And so we expect to see them conduct an offensive sometime in the spring,” Austin said, adding that the Ukraine Defense Contact Group has been working diligently to ensure that Ukraine has the “armored capability” required to defeat the Russians.
Milley also told reported that Russia appears to have started its planned spring offensive already, specifically focusing on the Bakhmut region.
“This offensive that you see ongoing right now generally in the Bakhmut area, you know, from Kharkiv all the way down to Kherson the front line is quite stable, even though very violent and a lot of fighting,” Milley said, adding that the Russian offensive has so far proven to be “relatively stable” despite Ukrainians proving that they are capable of holding their lines of defense.
Is U.S. Support Drying Up on Ukraine?
As Ukraine prepares for its newest offensive, the United States warns Kyiv that a constant flow of weapons and economic assistance can’t be sustained forever.
The suggestion is a remarkably different message than the one expressed by the chairman of Gen. Mark Milley, who promised on Monday that the United States and other Ukrainian allies will continue to provide the support Ukraine needs to win.
The United States and Europe have repeatedly promised publicly to support Ukraine for as long as it takes, but according to officials who spoke to The Washington Post, the level of support given to Ukraine before the November mid-terms may not be easy to replicate now that the Republicans have controlled of the House of Representatives.
“We will continue to try to impress upon them that we can’t do anything and everything forever,” one senior Biden administration official told the outlet on the condition of anonymity.
The official said that it is the view of the White House that it will be hard to provide the same amount of economic and security assistance from Congress.
“As long as it takes’ pertains to the amount of conflict,” the anonymous official said. “It doesn’t pertain to the amount of assistance.”
Another senior official said that while the Biden White House is committed to ensuring Ukraine has all the funding it needs, there are no guarantees that the requests will all be approved by Congress.
While House Republicans are not against Ukraine, nor do they support Russian aggression, Republicans are less likely to support constant spending on a foreign war long into the future.
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Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor. He is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.